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With Hidden NoiseEnlarge image

With Hidden Noise, 1916, 3rd version 1964

Marcel Duchamp
French, 1887 - 1968
ball of twine (containing small unknown object) pressed between two brass plates joined by four long bolts, with inscription in white oil paint
11.5 x 13 x 13 cm
Purchased 1971
National Gallery of Canada (no. 29942)
© Estate of Marcel Duchamp / SODRAC (2013)

The Surrealist notion of the chance encounter of objects is anticipated in this assisted readymade. Duchamp explained the title as follows: "Such is the title of this "assisted readymade": a ball of string between two brass plates, held together by four long bolts. Inside the ball of string Walter Arensberg secretly added a small object that makes a noise when it is shaken. And to this day I have no more idea what it is than anyone else."

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